(nr Buena Vista CO)
Up toward the Collegiate Peaks I found Cottonwood Lake campground. At over 9,600ft it provided cool temperatures and scenic views. Mountains all around, but no mountain goats again. Plenty of pine and aspen trees to keep me happy though.
Cottonwood Creek flowed from the lake, and got larger the further it went. Apparently, it had several feeder streams, with slightly different names, which came together at different points.
Next to the town of Buena Vista flows the Arkansas River, which is popular with rafters. I hiked a portion of the Whipple Trail that followed the river. A rather easy path with views of the water, and some large boulders along the way made for a pleasant hike.
Afterward, I had lunch at an organic food shop; choosing their recommended elk burger sandwich and kholrabi slaw. Not sure when that would be available again anytime soon. For dessert, I went down the street to a stand run by kids for a root beer float. Yummy!
Camp: San Isabel NF-Cottonwood Lake CG drycamp
Scene: Lake, creek, mountains, river